Who’s Telling Half-Truths on Pennsylvania Budget?
Chuck Ardo, the Governor’s spokesman, became incensed (as reported by John Micek) when Sen. Piccola made a strong comment against the governor. During last nightâ€™s Senate debate on a new budget plan, Piccola accused, Gov. Ed of having been “despicable in the way he’s handled this budget impasse” concerning payment for state workers.
When asked for a comment Ardo replied, “Nothing that comes out of these guys’ mouths is a surprise. They have resorted to misinformation, disinformation and half-truths in an attempt to sell their budgets.”
Maybe Ardo forgot that he and the Governor have repeatedly reported lies and half-truths to scare the public into accepting their budget plan”
- The Governor said that school districts would be forced to raise property taxes if they did not receive the amount of funding he called for. He forgot to inform the public that schools are to receive an average of 12% more in funding than last year.
- Rendell has claimed half of all Pennsylvanians don’t pay state income taxes. This appears to be a fabricated statistic.
- The Governor said that 800 state police would have to be laid off if the Senateâ€™s budget was passed. Even the head of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association called Rendellâ€™s claim a deliberate scare tactic. Later, in testimony, state police admitted that Rendell’s office gave the talking points, and the Governor himself has control over the funding formula.
- Rendell has repeatedly claimed Pennsylvania has one of the lowest top personal income tax rates, but Rendell’s tax rhetoric ignores states with no rate, that Pennsylvania has a flat rate with few deductions, and has local income taxes. All total, Pennsylvanians pay 16th most per capita in state and local income taxes, and have the 11th highest tax burden.
Even Ardo himself admitted the Governor does not always tell the whole truth:
“The governor uses numbers to make a point,” he said. “His numbers are not inaccurate, although sometimes they do not tell the whole story.”
Of course, it was Ardo who called Matt Brouillette a “flaming a$$hole.” And it was Ardo’s boss, Gov. Rendell who calls the Commonwealth Foundation “imbeciles.” But apparently that doesn’t “cross the line.” Or when Rendell called a group of Republicans a “cavemen caucus,” and when the Governor says that Mike Folmer is certifiable, or compares Eric Epstein to Hannibal Lecter, that’s all in good taste.
In terms of both truth telling and name-calling, Rendell seems to hold himself–or perhaps just those demi-gods deserving of a statue on every mantle–to a different standard than everyone else.